Rising Star Recap: If a Contestant Falls on a Reality Show, and Everyone Is Doing Their Dishes...

Blah Blah Blah,” goes one of the more memorable refrains from The Artist Formerly Known as Ke$ha. (Please take a moment of silence on behalf of the dropped dollar sign.)

On tonight’s installment of ABC’s Rising Star — which featured a trio of head-to-head contestant duels — the uni-monikered diva managed to prove even less eloquent as a reality-competition judge than she does as an “artist,” praising one contestant’s cascade of hair, getting smitten with another fella’s beard and whining about how hard it is to vote “no” to an amateur singer’s dreams — while presumably receiving a seven-figure salary in the process.

To paraphrase Top Chef‘s Padma Lakshmi, “Kehsa, please pack your baby-doll dresses and go.”

Even more depressing, however, than the judges’ mind-bogglingly terrible decisions in two of the three duels was the fact that the viewing public proved unable to veto their foolery.

(For the uninitiated, the “Duels” round pits two contestants against each other. The first contestant performs a song without the Rising Star wall; each judge casts a vote worth 7% of the total, while voters who check in on the Rising Star app vote “yes” or “no” for a contestant advancing. The second contestant then performs behind the wall, while the judges and public vote again. The singer with the higher percentage of “yeses” then advances to the quarterfinals, and if it’s the latter combatant, the “wall” raises in a blaze of feigned glory.)

For serious reals, the preceding pargraph gave me a mild bout of acid reflux, so let me jump right ahead to assigning letter grades for tonight’s performances:

Alice J. Lee, “Wings” — Grade: D+
Lisa Punch, “Perfect” — Grade: B-
Alice Lee advances with 69% (including all three judges) over Lisa Punch’s 66% (with only Kesha voting “yes”)

Megan Tibbits, “Summertime” — Grade: C-
Sarah Darling, “I Hope You Dance” — Grade: B
Megan Tibbits advances with 71% of the vote (including all three judges) over Sarah Darling’s 68% (with only Brad voting “yes”)

Will Roth, “Wrecking Ball” — Grade: D
Jesse Kinch, “Whipping Post” — Grade: B
Jesse Kinch advances with 90% of the vote (including all three judges) over Will Roth’s 57% (with Brad and Kesha voting “yes”)

Most Likely to Score the Sole West-Coast Save: Lisa Punch
Most Deserving of Scoring the Sole West-Coast Save: Sarah Darling

What did you think of tonight’s Rising Star? Who were your faves? Vote in our head-to-head polls below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Androme says:

    Four words from me: America. Got. it. WRONG.

    • androme3 says:

      “Please clarify on that”, said someone who wouldn’t use these words.
      Alice was completely terrible; and Lisa was way better than her.
      Sarah had the voice of an angel; Megan has the voice of Kesha without auto tune.
      And though both guys were great, but it was clear that Jesse would go through. That’s the fault of the producers.
      I completely disagreed with almost all the Experts said, and America was tone death.
      The only one working on the show that wasn’t pissing me off was Josh, even though he kept talking about how good Brad looks.
      This show was mind-numbingly sad. Can’t wait for next week.

      • KaTie says:

        Whom ever PolyNESIA she could wear infant clothing and be appropriate was sadly mistaken.

        I will not be watching this show again your vote doesn’t even count at the end of the day.

        The first can play off the crowd and the second sings to a wall it’s absolutely ridiculous!! I turned it off after Sarah Darling lost to a girl whose high notes sounded a strangled cat!

    • KaTie says:

      It’s not that America got it wrong because Megan had 49% of the public’s vote, and Sarah had 61%. That’s why this show is idiotic and I won’t be watching again.

    • Drejhead says:

      Yeah America actually had nothing to do with it this time. The judges having 7% each is what ruined this show. 2 of the 3 singers that advanced had the lower public voting percentage. When I hear comments in the middle of an episode telling people to download the app, and yet 66% of advancing singers were put through DESPITE America’s vote, there is something broken in the format.

  2. Taylor says:

    I’m still shocked that Lisa didn’t go through. She was the only person (aside from Jesse) who gave me chills tonight.

    • Jill Moy says:


      She gave you the chills? Listening to her it’s obvious she can’t sing! She is terrible! Darling wasn’t great but certainly was better than her!

      To the average person PUNCH may sound good, but believe me, she couldn’t win a karaoke contest! She was honestly not good at all! Anyone can attempt to hit notes and sound decent to the average person! She hasn’t a chance to win this show! Maybe a vocal coach could help her.

      • KaTie says:

        Your favorite artist must be baby doll dress ( she couldn’t afford actual clothing because she wasted her Mooney getting wasted) Kesha.

        Darling has the perfect country voice… A person can’t just change that song it’s already a really difficult song… it’s also an extremely iconic country song

        • Jill Moy says:


          Like I’ve mentioned earlier, about the only thing she has is the world’s longest neck! Guinness is on their way!

          • KaTie says:

            Okay whatever you say… I’ll let you think you own. Good luck with a singer who sounds like a cat being strangled.

        • Jill Moy says:


          NO, I Think Kasha is a horrible singer, indeed! She has the talent of a rattle snake!

          Darling’s song is not that difficult! She wasn’t bad and should have won over a talentless Punch!

          The talent on this show is not good…let’s face it! Be honest. But, Jesse has a lot of fans and will be hard to beat!

  3. Jeff Marley says:

    Hopeful Gabrielle Nicole can knock it out of the park next Sunday!!! :)

  4. Kaba says:

    Only watching for Jesse Kinch…who I feel gets downgraded because of the fact that he’s on this show.
    Praying Gabrielle knocks off that plant Macy Kate or whatever the hell her name is.
    Everyone else was boring.

    • Jeff Marley says:

      Yeah!!! Wishing all the luck in the world for Gabrielle!!! But I’m concerned because she’s up against someone with a huge fan base!!! We have to do everything we can to help Gabrielle win!!! :)

      • Jill Moy says:

        GABBY IS NOT WINNING ANYTHING WITH WITH HER STUCK UP AS-! Her voice is as good as a fair karaoke singer! She is so overrated! Everyone is getting carried away with her! Mark my words, she is not a good singer, certainly not good enough to win anything! You non-believers will see!

        • Jeff Marley says:

          Then who are you rooting for now that Sarah is gone? :)

          • Jill Moy says:


            First of all, Sarah shouldn’t be gone! Punch is not a good singer! Sarah is just ok but she at least sings in tune.

            Jesse is just different! I don’t feel he’s in a class of singers I’ve mentioned in my other comments, that are on AGT, but he’s the best compared to the rest of the singers who are all below average!

            The public was not fooled as % of votes were not high except for Jesse! The guy Jesse beat out was awful! He was ok his first time singing but even then he was overrated!

            Jesse had a voice that was adequate for the Allman Brothers song. G. Allman wasn’t exactly a wonderful singer but the song is the type song that doesn’t require a masterful singer! Smart song choice for Jesse!

        • Kaba says:

          Please pull the stick out of there, please.
          You sound far too upset for no real reason.

          • Jill Moy says:


            I just bet you would like to watch me remove it! I’m not into sticks!

            UPSET OVER WHAT? A bunch of no talent singers will never upset me!

          • Kaba says:

            Lol, could’ve fooled me when you’re melodramatic responding

  5. CM says:

    I just started watching this to see how bad it actually was. The host has the personality of a rock and really struggled to keep the show going (unlike Carson and Ryan). People say that Ludacris is a good judge but I couldn’t hear any pointed, specific feedback from any of them.
    Jesse is the only one who came off as good to me, but I’m no professional so I couldn’t tell if someone was amazing or terrible (that one guy with “Wrecking Ball” did sound pretty horrible though). All of the others wouldn’t make it very far on The Voice or American Idol.

    • GTS says:

      Carson Daly? Really? You think he shows a personality on The Voice? He over dramatizes stories during the Blind Auditions (although that is likely scripted), tells families “So close!” or “Great!” and asks the singer’s parents if they are proud, then just says the contestant’s name for the rest of the season. No jokes, nothing ad lobbed, no report with the judges…

      • CM says:

        Ok. I agree with you there. I meant from more of a comfortable standpoint. Josh looks like he has no idea what do most of the time (which is understandable because this is only the 4th(?) time he’s hosted)

    • KaTie says:

      The host should be the mentor because his knowledge of music is incredible. He also has an amazing voice.

    • Jill Moy says:


      Oh well, I guess I feel the talent stinks! AGT has some great singers! Check it out!

      STICKS and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me……LOL!

  6. Sinking Nova says:

    I agree with Michael right down the line on his assessment of this episode. I could not believe the results of the first two rounds. Jessie was going to beat whoever was put against him, it’s just sad it had to be Will at this point. It looks like my ABC affiliate has decided not to air the show live (East Coast time) starting next week. As a result, I will no longer be watching since voting is the only good thing about this disaster and voting with the West Coast is a joke. At least I will leave knowing I am not missing much.

  7. Stormy says:

    Dish TV had a complete signal loss at the end of Alice Lee’s performance and showed none of Lisa Punch’ performance. The signal came back during Megan’ performance but went to a partial loss of signal during Sarah’s performance so that probably radically affected the votes.

  8. Ben Giddens says:

    This is idiocracy come to life, next the panel should have upgraydd and that’s with 2 ‘s for a double dose of stupidity. Thanks you, have a nice day!

  9. Emma says:

    It’s cool that finally one of these singing type shows is actually letting Canada in on the voting. However, there isn’t enough money in the world you could pay me to listen to Kesha give anyone advice on singing. I mean seriously, what were they thinking?

  10. Amy Sneed says:

    I totally agree with this assessment! ! While watching the voting you could see who America’s favorites were and it wasnt who the judges chose!! (Except Jesse, I think he will win the show if the judges allow it, he blows it out of the water everytime he sings!!)

  11. Timmah says:

    Oh no, I missed Rising Star tonight. (Said no one, ever)

  12. Lisa made it!!!! Alice did good, Sarah did FANTASTIC, Megan was eh, will was horrible and Jesse, I guess he was okay I don’t really get his voice yet but I’m sure he’s good.

  13. Walker says:

    If there is a second season of Rising Star, I hope that Sarah can come back. I hope she does. She deserves to still be there! Bring back Sarah!

    • OMG says:

      Second season? ABC should cancel this season now. Bring more ‘Sing Your Face Off” at least that was entertaining.

  14. Jill Moy says:

    Another horrible show! Only Jesse was good! Darling was better than horrible punch! She should have been “PUNCHED” out!

    Jesse was good! What ruined the song was the main guitar riffs were missing from the song! Too bad! Could have been great!

    Jesse is worthy to win this thing! But give Sarah Darling a hand…She has the world’s longest neck! HANDS DOWN!

    • Liberals Steal says:

      Couple of things Jill:

      1) Why are you so angry? Don’t worry be happy.

      2) What is your threshold for being a good singer? How many are there in the world? Is it just Adele and Christina Aguilera?

      You can be good in a relative sense. If someone thinks a contestant on Rising Star is good, maybe they do mean compared to Adele, although I hope they don’t. Maybe they just mean compared to the rest of the contestants.

      You have to define your parameters though. I thought Lisa Punch had some flaws, but it was a solid enough performance. She’s not America’s greatest vocalist, but when you say she sucks and wouldn’t win a karaoake contest, you just come off as insane.

      3) Please share with us your music credentials. You said how the “average person” may like her, but you can tell great vocals from not so great vocals.

      • Jill Moy says:


        Come on now! These singers, minus JESSE, STINK!

        As far as my credentials go, another commenter threatened to expose who I am but luckily nobody answered the person!

        Wouldn’t you be surprised! I was better at 12 than any of these singers!

        Karaoke singers are better than the talent on this show! The talent is horrible! What are you listening to?

        • Jill Moy says:


          Also, we heard THE WORST singing if WINGS and SUMMERTIME anyone ever heard! Take a listen to ALLONA SANTIAGO singing WINGS on X FACTOR! SUPERIOR! And she was 16 at the time! Listen to AGT! 11 year old MARA JUSTINE, an 11 year old and JULIA GOODWIN, a 15 year old! These 2 can blow all these singers away! And 31 year old GLOVER (last name) is fabulous as well! These are singers! They are all currently on AGT!

          • Jill Moy says:

            KELLI GLOVER is singer I mentioned on my last comment! Take a listen to world champion Karaoke singer CASSANDRA MAE JOPP! She can sing anything and has great showmanship!

            The singers on this show are poor! Darling has been trying to make it for 10 years and she’ll be trying 10 more years! She didn’t fool the public, did she??????????

          • Jill Moy says:


      • Jill Moy says:


        I don’t expect the singers to be the singers you mentioned. But, I do expect better talent than these misfits! Out of thousands of auditions, this is the best talent this show can offer?

        However, it is sometimes who you know to make it! There are plenty of successful singers who can’t sing worth a damn! In that respect, maybe one or 2 could be successful, but I wouldn’t count on it!

        There a a couple horrible singers that are mega stars! I’m not mentioning names because it will open up a new can of worms and nobody needs that!

      • Jill Moy says:


        PUNCH couldn’t win a karaoke contest….and that isn’t insane! Go check out WORLD JARAOKE CHAMPION CASSANDRA MAE JOPP! She’s won every karaoke contest she ever entered! Karaoke Battle USA had great talent, as did the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in IRELAND!

        Are you gonna put PUNCH in her category? Had Jopp won AI, She would have sold more records than Carrie Underwood! She has superior showmanship and a better voice than Carrie!
        So, I wouldn’t put down karaoke! It’s certainly better than this talent! Don’t worry, miss Punch will be “PUNCHED” out on her next appearance!

  15. I get why the judges are there… But when Sarah lost by 3 percent clearly America favored her, the show is rigged the judges have so much control with 21 percent that they can basically say yes or no on who is going through. I uninstalled the app as soon as that happened, oh well it was a good to watch her sing. Worse part is no one from the show will ever read our thoughts to know what we think. Sad …

    Good luck America.

    • Mike says:

      and what was the point of that anyway? Why bother bringing someone on with a clear fan base like Sarah Darling, only to have her lose this early? The judges shouldn’t have a vote at all. They’re there to critique, not decide. This isn’t Dancing With the Stars after all.

  16. The worst part is no one at the studio cares about 10 or 20 people venting in a blog, even if America chose different the judges control the show and there for who wins or loses.

  17. OMG says:

    We have the power, the voters decide…. what a crock! The panel of so called experts have the power. This show is the worst! Grumpy Cat would do better than Kesha.

  18. rick says:

    This show is all done. After the “experts” consistently override the votes of the audience, nobody will bother to watch or vote. I already uninstalled the app!

  19. Jill Moy says:

    Kesha is completely worthless! She actually admitted in so many words she voted NO on a singer so her favorite of the 2 singers would go through! That is unethical and she should be fired! She’s a complete moron as a judge and her singing isn’t much better! Even Britney when she was judging on AI had more sense!

  20. CM says:

    I can tolerate Brad and Ludacris, but somebody please replace Kesha.

  21. Debbie M. says:

    I still do NOT understand why Sarah Darling is on this show. I was listening to the country station on Sirius this weekend and as always, they were playing her song “Little Umbrellas.” If she is regularly on the radio, why is she on this dreadful show? Moreover, why am I still watching this dreadful show? (Two words: Brad Paisley.)

  22. toughhombre says:

    First of all I like the concept of the show as they draw diverse talents and styles (like AMERICA’S GOT TALENT) as opposed to IDOL THE VOICE and the X FACTOR who only like the screamers and yellers. My main beef with this show is the judging panel. Neither Kesha or Ludicrous are schooled trained musicians or singers. Brad Paisley does better. None of them favor legitimate Jazz, Traditional Pop, Broadway or Classical. Ludicrous is a rapper and Kesha is an auto tune poster girl who can’t sing eilther. She is more interested in what the gals are wearing than voice quality. Paisley is a good singer and guitarist so I give him more credence. Insofar as Monday night’s duels, Alice Lee was the more professional musician/singer, knows music, is trained and is a pro Broadway performer. Punch, admittedly doesn’t know anything about pitch, what key she is in or music knowledge in general. However, she yells and modulates to another higher key (American Idol style) and that always sways the musically uninformed audience who think that is great. Lee was far more controlled, has a better quality to her voice and deserved the higher score. As expected the West Coast was obviously voting on issues other than qualilty.

    • CM says:

      I couldn’t agree more on your comments about the judges.

    • Jill Moy says:


      GREAT COMMENTS! Most of what you said I have said from day one! People think Punch is good because she screams a little! I agree with everything except Ludas! He has been the VOICE OF REASON! So far he has been ok, although he sometimes has stupid reasons for a YES vote, or for that matter a NO vote! But he has been better than the 2 STEPFORD WIVES, who are stiff and don’t seem interested in judging! Kesha would say yes to a moose, or any other animal who made a sound!

  23. CM says:

    What stuck out the most to me was the fact that the “Experts” actually sit down with the contestants and work with them on their songs (not sure how much that helps).

  24. gayle vitela says:

    I can’t stand to watch this show, but I get a kick out of MS’s reviews and the comments.

  25. Jill Moy says:

    I’m not crazy about Sarah Darling but she was screwed by that idiot Kesha! She will vote yes for a snail if it made a sound, yet she votes no for Darling! Then I her own way, admitted she voted no so the other singer could go through! Lucas said she had a great voice but HAD TO vote no! That is LUDICROUS; the name fits him perfectly! These are 2 true idiots, these 2 judges!

  26. Jill Moy says:


    Where are you? Hope you are ok. Very unusual for you to not comment.